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What Drought?

Spring is supposedly here and the whole country is in drought, the worst in decades, including large parts of Tasmania except that is, for Hobart, where it rains every time I go out.
Between the showers though, I managed to have a lovely time at the market. I got some fabulous purple ranunculus and some Iceland poppies. Couldn't decide between the two so the stall holder gave me both at a discount. I was also given free shavings of coconut ice since they had run out of my favourite indulgence - and some organic apples.

*By the way, it is now scientifically proven that chocolate is an antidepressant, relieves pain and prevents mood swings (ABC News, 7 p.m. Tuesday, 2/10/07). When I told my son this exciting bit of news. He said, "What? And they needed scientists to prove that?

At home, our pear tree flowered like big wedding cake for a day or two before the blossom was blown around like confetti. The fierce winds also brought down a lot of trees and left five hundred homes without power.

Earlier in the week there was also an enormous fire in our major department store. It closed off the central city streets and much of the shopping district where a lot of shops suffered water damage and couldn't open for weeks. Despite this, there was almost a carnival atmosphere in the city. Strangers talked to each other and there was a sense of the city pulling together in misfortune. Too bad about the historic shop fronts though. I only photographed them a couple of months ago, and now they are gone.

Remains of main Myer building, Liverpool St.

Deserted entrance to Hobart's famous Cat and Fiddle Arcade where shops are closed due to water damage, loss of electricity or risk of falling debris

Exhausted Clean up Workers

Bright flower plantings in the city bring a bit of cheer
In other little known other news from around the globe, I am reliably informed by our man in Mongolia (Hi Ross!) that there's a touch of bubonic plague going around, carried by Marmots - the national barbecue dish. Just stay away from those Marmots and any other warm furry things.